Going to the gym is all well and good, but a lot of the time, people are turning up without any real clear aim. If you’re just after your twenty to thirty minutes a day, that’s fine – plenty of people are happy to sit on the bikes or pound the treadmill without really thinking about it, just racking up the minutes.
This approach works, to a point, but you get much better results from your time in the gym if you actually have an objective to aim for. You don’t have to be racing competitively or entering a body building contest, but fixing something to aim for will help you focus on what you’re doing and get results, whether that’s a trimmer waist, a new personal best, or finally managing ten chin-ups in a row.
So, have a think about what you’re actually going to the gym for, and what you want to get out of it. Are you looking to slim down? Run faster? Build muscle? Tone up? Once you’ve identified what it is you want (a six pack maybe!) then you can start designing your workout to achieve that aim. Put down specific markers, for example, your end target might be to run 5km in under 25 minutes. If you’re doing it in 35 minutes now, then aim to shave a minute off each workout until you get to that magical 25 minutes, then aim for 24…
If challenging yourself isn’t motivating enough for you, then do something like entering a competition. It could be a 5km fun run, a swim, anything. Once you know that you’re going to have to perform on a given day, in front of others, it gives you something to aim for.
The great thing about setting goals is that once you hit them, you feel great, and then you can set new ones and continually evolve. The important thing is to keep your goals SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (yet challenging) and time specific.
If you’re here on holiday that could be as simple as reaching that buoy out to sea on a swim (or reducing your time there and back), beating your beach run time each time you do it, bursting your press up plateau in your hotel room, or staying on the dance floor until six am instead of five!